Under fascism, universal freedom is doomed

Strangely, fascists often claim to be demonstrating for freedom. But, not universal freedom. That is reserved for white males.

Toni Morrison, the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature wrote about forces interested in fascist solutions to national problems:

The procedures she described were methods to normalize such solutions, to “construct an internal enemy”, isolate, demonize and criminalize it and sympathizers to its ideology and their allies, and, using the media, provide the illusion of power and influence to one’s supporters.

America is now in fascism’s legal phase

In the preface to the Kindle edition of his work, Yale University Professor of Philosophy Jason Stanley wrote:

Since publishing How Fascism Works in September 2018, global events have only substantiated my concerns about modern fascism. The political leaders, parties, and movements I wrote about then have made advances on their agendas. New leaders and political parties have emerged emulating the tactics I describe ...

I wrote this book as a warning about fascist politics, essentially the danger of rhetoric that encourages fear and anger as a means to foment ethnic and religious division, seeping into public discourse. Today, the effects of such talk seem clear, as that rhetoric now shapes the outcome of elections and makes its way into policies

Across the world, politicians and political parties have learned from the examples discussed here, about how rhetoric of ethnic and racial division can go on to win elections and popular support

Since the book was published, there have not just been new developments—there have also been worrisome advances in existing movements. Panic about immigration and the fear of losing the dominant culture to religious or ethnic minorities loathed by the majority groups are central to fascist politics. In the countries in which these tactics are most successful, we now see the clear emergence of fascist policies

In 2012, I published Fascism anyone? It repeated work of writer Laurence W. Britt who stated fourteen common patterns of political behavior and abuse of power. 

  1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.
  2. Disdain for the importance of human rights.
  3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.
  4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it.
  5. Rampant sexism. Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, these regimes inevitably viewed women as second-class citizens. 
  6. A controlled mass media. 
  7. Obsession with national security.
  8. Religion and ruling elite tied together.
  9. Power of corporations protected.
  10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated.
  11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.
  12. Obsession with crime and punishment.
  13. Rampant cronyism and corruption.
  14. Fraudulent elections. When actual elections were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. 

Rutger’s journalism professor Jack Bratich wrote about microfascism:

By highlighting the misogyny at fascism’s core, we are able to observe a key process in the formation of a fascist body. Recognizing the microfascism behind appeals to recover the past glory of white male subjects created by earlier foundational wars, we see how histories of settler colonialism, genocide, and domination are animating the deadly mission of fascism today. By focusing on the variety of ways the resurgent fascist tendency courts its own destruction (and demands the destruction of others), we can trace how fascism refines and expands the death and annihilation that underpins capitalist, colonial, and patriarchal systems.

When HarperCons, Pierre Poilievre, Maxime Bernier, and other Canadian political figures associate themselves with the far-right, it is not accidental. It is a strategy they calculate will lead them back to power. Professor Stanley wrote:

The targeting of enemies—minorities, liberals, secularists, leftists, urban naxals, intellectuals, assorted protestors—is not driven by a calculus of ordinary politics….When you legitimize yourself entirely by inventing enemies, the truth ceases to matter, normal restraints of civilization and decency cease to matter, the checks and balances of normal politics cease to matter.

Categories: Fascism

2 replies »

  1. yes, we do have some politicians in this country who appear to be quite devoted to the fascist methods and ideologies. Alberta is certainly heading in that direction. One of the people running from the UPC made some very ugly remarks regarding transgender children. It was shocking. Of course the National Post was pumping for Smith and the gang of “knuckle draggers”.

    If the people of Alberta return Smith and her gang to office, things will not turn out well. Fortunately in Canada we do have a Supreme Court which is not “on the take” and makes decent decisions.

    PP as P.M. is just down right scary. That man comes across as very angry, which is not a good thing.

    Facism is alive and well these days in countries which declare themselves to be democracies, but aren’t. The attacks on minorities is out of control. My take on PP and others like him is they haven’t quite understood that others have rights, that they are equal to any white guy, if not better. These white men who want to take control “back” will cause a great deal of harm to humanity.


  2. Fascism, that lure for the rich elites to deny democracy from the rest of society.

    We see it in Russian The USA, almost all of south America and it is oozing back into Europe, which should know better.

    In Canada it is the Evangelical Americanization of the Canadian politic that is slowly totting our politcal infrastructure and it just not lay at the door of the Alberta’s GOP North party, but the Conservatives, the Liberals, the NDP, and the Party Quebecois.

    Today, I see no politcal party that is not tainted with a power grab, maybe, except for the Greens but they do not have power and are allowed to run as a nuisance than anything else.

    When politicians deny democratic change, giving more power to the voter, it is a telltale sign that Fascism has invading their politics.


Leave a reply but be on topic and civil.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s